Students protest outside British embassy in Tehran over riots
About 100 Iranian students protested Sunday outside the British embassy in Tehran over the "savage aggression" used by police on demonstrators in the recent street riots across Britain, dpa reported.
The state-organized protests were reportedly held "in solidarity with the oppressed Britons and against British police terror."
The students shouted, "Death to England," "Where (are) your human rights," and "Protesters, we will support you."
Dozens of anti-riot police were stationed in front of the embassy to block the protesters from entering the compound.
The students had reportedly also requested a meeting with British diplomats, which was welcomed by British charge d'affaires Jane Marriott.
In a letter Sunday to the students' organization, Marriott supported their right to protest peacefully outside the British embassy, but added that "rational discussion is not best conducted during a demonstration."
"Given your commendable concern about the rights of freedom of expression and assembly, I also trust that you will urge the relevant (Iranian) authorities to grant similar rights to all other peaceful demonstrations in Iran," the British diplomat wrote.
Political demonstrations in Iran by dissidents and opposition activists against the government have so far been strictly prohibited by the Interior Ministry, although they are considered to be legitimate according to the Iranian constitution.
Following the 2009 presidential election, which was overshadowed by allegations of fraud and led to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election, all protests were suppressed by the police.
Britons had protested at the time, leading to the expulsion of some British diplomats and the arrest of several Iranian embassy staff members, who have since been freed.
Ahmadinejad on Wednesday urged the United Nations Security Council to stop Britain from using force and instead listen to the demonstrators' demands.
The British embassy in Tehran responded with a message to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, asking why Tehran had rejected the visit of a UN-appointed human rights special rapporteur to Iran.
Former Maldives foreign minister Ahmed Shaheed was appointed by the UN in June to investigate the human rights situation in Iran, including the arrests following the 2009 election. Iran has refused to allow him into the country.